The Devils have been officially eliminated from playoff contention.
How does that sound? It certainly is not something any of us are used to hearing at all. In fact, this is the first time since 1996 that the Devils will not be in the playoffs. The reason why is what we have been discussing for months as it is never going to be completely clear what really happened at the beginning of this season.
There are four games left starting tonight in Pittsburgh. Toronto visits the Rock Wedensday. The Devils take on the Rangers at the Garden on Saturday before returning home on Sunday to close out the season against the Boston Bruins.
The biggest positive of the past week besides the win over Philadelphia was the return of Zach Parise in Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens. He played 16:05 of ice time which was certainly on the high side for his return but he did not look to far behind. His speed will come back in the next few days and he admitted to feeling sore after the game but he says he will be fine. The only uncertainty is where Zach will be placed in the lineup. He started the game as a winger on Josefson’s line with Tedenby . He ended the game replacing Nick Palmieri on the top line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac.
Fans shouldn’t hang their heads for too long. It is pretty evident that next year will be a quick bounce back year for the team.
Josefson and Tedenby have been two huge bright spots for the team and will certainly be permanent fixtures on next year’s roster.
There are only two home games left. Make sure you make it out to them and support the team and show them that you appreciate what they accomplished in the second half of the season. In December, this was a season to forget. It is now a season to remember.